Despite the differences between Texas A&M University – Kingsville (TAMUK) and Texas A&I Alumni Association, it is possible to bring the statue of legendary Texas A&I coach Gil Steinke on campus, according to university president Dr. Steven Tallant.
The possibility may be a reality sooner than later, as both entities will hold a joint press conference tomorrow at 11 a.m in McCulley Hall.
“I have hopes that sometime in the near future, perhaps, we can work out our differences and get that statue on campus,” Tallant said.
The university and the organization are still in the negotiating stages, and no deal has been put in place yet.
Manuel Saenz, president of the Texas A&I Alumni Association, said he still hopes the statue will make it to the stadium.
“The Texas A&I Alumni Association has great faith in the administrators of our Alma Mater,” said. “We love Texas A&I and still believe that despite our opinions and actions concerning the name of the university, there’s still hope for our two sides to reach a compromise, even perhaps begin to work together.”
The association paid for the $110,000 statue and planned to put the statue at the Javelina Stadium but after a dispute with the university, the statue was refused.
According to Tallant, the president of TAMUK, the Texas A&I association was making derogatory comments about the university on their website and he did not want to work with the organization because of it.
Since then, negotiations with the location of the statue have begun with Dick Watson, a member of the association.
The plan to have a statue of Steinke on campus at the stadium was proposed by Watson, but he has never reached an agreement with the university or met with Tallant to get the plan approved.
Watson did not want to comment on the issues and status of negotiation of the statue’s location at this time.
Texas A&I University alumnus Armando Hinojosa produced a world-class bronze statue of Gil Steinke, the head coach who guided the Javelinas to earn six national championship titles.
Hinojosa has also created the statue of Frank H. Dotterweich outside of the College of Engineering and the “Leader of the Pack” Javelina statues in front College Hall.
Because the university has not accepted the statue, it is located in the Texas A&I Alumni association center and awaits the location at the intersection of King and University Boulevard, just outside the entrance to TAMUK.
“The alternative site is a nice one but the [statue] should be at Javelina Stadium, no doubt about it. After all, it was Coach Steinke’s ‘home away from home,” he said.
Though a deal has not been reached, Saenz hinted the deal was right around the corner.
“As far as this matter is concerned, I don’t think the Texas A&I Alumni believe this is over,” Saenz said. “Coach Steinke would probably call this period of the game, ‘halftime.'”